Nervilia crociformis (Zoll. & Moritzi) Seidenf.

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Nervilia crociformis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mermaids Falls, Aberfoyle

Nervilia crociformis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mermaids Falls, Aberfoyle

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Synonyms: Bolborchis crociformis Zoll. & Moritzi
Nervilia erosa P.J. Cribb
Nervilia humilis Schltr.
Nervilia reniformis Schltr.
Nervilia sp. (Williamson & Drummond 1679) of Williamson, Orch. S. Centr. Africa: 140 (1977).
Common names:
Status: Native
Erect terrestrial herb 1.5-10 cm tall growing from subspherical or ovoid tuber 0.5-1.4 cm in diameter, (2)3-6 noded; leaf solitary, appearing after flowering, prostrate or nearly so, 1.5-9 x 3.5-14 cm, reniform to almost orbicular, usually densely pubescent on the upper surface but occasionally glabrous, petiole c. 0-6 cm long with 1-3 sheathing cataphylls; scape erect, terete, 1-flowered, with 2-3 sheathing cataphylls, lengthening to c. 20 cm when fruiting; flower ± erect, fragrant; sepals and petals spreading, closing again after about 8 hours or earlier if pollinated; lateral sepals oblique, 12-19 x 3.5 mm; petals slightly shorter and narrower; lip oblong-cuneate, 12-18 x 9-11 mm, 3-lobed, white with a yellow centre and often with a faint lilac or purple tinge or markings in the apical area, inner surface ± covered in thin hair-like outgrowths and a few thicker formations arranged in three rows along the centre of the mid-lobe and ranging from low tubercles to long acute tapering emergences, lateral lobes obtusely triangular or rounded, mid-lobe ovate-triangular to ovate with margin crenulated to undulate-fimbriate.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Brachystegia woodland, evergreen forest, grassland, riverine forest and pine plantations.
Altitude range: 650 - 2000 m
Flowering time:Oct - Dec
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Africa, Madagascar, Asia and Australia
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 331.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 40.

Cribb, P.J. (1977). New orchids from South Central Africa Kew Bulletin 32(1) Pages 152 - 155. as Nervilia erosa (Includes a picture).

Fibeck, W. & Dare, M. (1993). Terrestrial Orchids in Zimbabwe. Excelsa 16 Page 67.

Grosvenor, R.K. (1976). A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 84. As Nervilia humilis

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Pages 252 - 253.

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Page 165. as Nervilia humilis (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I.F. & La Croix T.M. (1983). Orchids of Bvumbwe The Society of Malawi Journal 36(2) Page 17. as Nervilia reniformis

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 97.

Petterson, B. (1990). Nordic Journal of Botany 9 Pages 494 - 496.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 123.

Williamson, G. (1977). The Orchids of South Central Africa J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London. Pages 140 - 142. as Nervilia humilis and N. sp. (Williamson & Drummond 1679) (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Nervilia crociformis:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Nervilia crociformis
Flora of Mozambique: Nervilia crociformis
Flora of Zambia: Nervilia crociformis
Flora of Zimbabwe: Nervilia crociformis

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Nervilia crociformis
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Nervilia crociformis
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Nervilia crociformis
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Nervilia crociformis
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Nervilia crociformis
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Nervilia crociformis
JSTOR Plant Science: Nervilia crociformis
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Nervilia crociformis
Plants of the World Online: Nervilia crociformis
Tropicos: Nervilia crociformis
Wikipedia: Nervilia crociformis

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Nervilia crociformis., retrieved 23 April 2024

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